Speaking up for #TaxJustice at the Financing for Development Follow-up Forum
Held once a year in spring, at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, the ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up is also simply known as FfD Forum. The FfD follow-up process is defined as a process “assessing progress, obstacles, challenges as well as new and emerging topics of relevance”, to “provide policy recommendations for action by the international community” for Financing for Development, in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), the outcome document of the UN Conference on Financing held in Addis Ababa in 2015 (para. 131).
Finance Ministers, high ranking representatives of international finance institutions, national delegations represented at the UN, the different UN Programmes, multilateral and bilateral development institutions, Civil Society and the private sector participate in this event.
The Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), as member of the Civil Society Organisations Forum at the FfD (CSOs for FfD), leads this Forum’s workstream on Tax and Domestic Resource Mobilisation. As such, the GATJ participates in this follow up process to:
- to expose the inadequacies of the AAAA itself
- to highlight the lack of progress and indeed the setbacks in implementing the AAAA even with its limitations
- to expose the root causes for this lack of progress
- and to do advocacy for policy and institutional framework changes required to achieve the objectives of the Financing for Development agenda.
Dereje Alemayehu, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice’s Executive Coordinator, had the opportunity to speak as a discussant on behalf of the CSOs for FfD Forum at the plenary of the FfD follow up meeting, on April 16th.
“To expect developing countries to enhance domestic resource mobilisation without stopping resource leakages in their economy is like expecting them to collect water with a sieve; To expect them to make substantial progress in designing and implementing a national integrated financing framework without creating an enabling international environment - that is, without easing external constraints that shrink their finance policy space - is like expecting them to run fast with their hands tied”, Alemayehu said.
Together with ActionAid, Eurodad, FTC and SID, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice facilitated a side-event on that same day, titled “TAX & ILLICIT FINANCIAL FLOWS: Following up on the FfD and SDG commitments”, organized by the Civil Society Financing for Development (FfD) Group, including the Women’s Working Group on FfD.
Among the speakers were Amanda Mukwashi, chief executive officer of Christian Aid, Mae Buenaventura, deputy coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Moment On Debt And Development (APMDD), Toril Pedersen senior advisor on tax and development at Norad and a representative of the Nigeria Delegation to the UN.
All panelists expressed their disappointment with the lack of progress by the international community in supporting developing countries to minimize illicit financial flows.